[Help] Banana Pi BPI-R3 as NAS

Hi all,

I have Banana Pi R3 running latest openwrt 23.05 and I am using USB hub to plug 4 portable hdd at 1 flash drive. The USB hub I am using has power adapter to ensure there is enough power to run all spinning hdd’s.

My problem is that only 4 drives are being seen by banana pi r3, the 5th drive does not work. It does not matter what order do i plug them in but when i plug the 5th one, which is the last one, it does not work.

I have same setup using Linksys WRT32X and all drives are running without any issue even if i plug in more than 5 drive, it is working.

Does anyone have the same issue? Is there any way to make my setup work? I just upgraded to Banana pi R3 thinking that this router is going to better comapare with my old Linksys.

I’m not sure it is the same issue, but I had stability problems with a cheap usb3 hub on bpi R64.

The external power of the hub was directly connected to the power coming from the usb source, in this case the R64, on the usb3 hub.

I ended up removing a copper trace inside the hub, this way the hub could only be powered by adapter.

That’s great you solved yours.

Orico CT2U3-16AB 16 port usb 3.0

This is what I used, I also tried cheap 7 port usb 3.0 as well with no luck.

And as I have mentioned, that setup is working with my Linksys WRT32x even now because i thought that maybe i have been using it for a long time that is why it got broken but still works on Linksys.

Hopefully somebody here knows if this is really a limitation or if there is any documentation for a workaround as reference.

Why use usb for connecting the drives? You can use m.2 slot for an sata adapter and using the sata power connector for powering the drives (maybe needs additional overlay)

Hi @frank-w, the reason for that is I am using portable hard drive as storage. I would then need to dismantle all I believe if I am going to do it that way, am I correct?

I’m also trying to find a better way which is not too expensive and way faster in terms of file transfer speed compare to my setup. So far, i have portable hdds with usb cable, usb hub and BPi R3

you can also do it with usb, but it is not optimal for nas-uage, also in terms of transfer speed and you need external hub which is potential error-point. you should not disassemble your usb-drives, just use normal sata drives (imho most people having them laying around after modern devices switched to nvme/m.2) or at least use an external 4xhdd case (have a fantec here with usb3) so you do not need extra usb-hub.

Hubs mostly not designed to connect multiple hdds (only low-power devices like usb-sticks, mouse, keyboard, serial adapters and such). A (mechanical) hdd draws much more power on spin-on and if there are multiple drives this makes a huge peak in the power-on moment which most hubs cannot handle.

… if what you got in that external case is actually still a SATA drive and a USB3-to-SATA controller. I’ve seen many harddrives lately coming with USB3 instead of SATA already on the board of the actual harddrive itself, hence there is no USB3-to-SATA controller needed any more and also no option to connect the drive via SATA.

Hi @frank-w and @dangowrt, im not sure what you mean. This is what I have

Seagate 4tb portable

Plus Orico Usb hub

Would you mind sharing pictures of what you think is the best setup?

@frank-w is correct, file transfer sometimes stop all of a sudden and there will be an error prompt. Before i hit ok, i will screenshot the file where it stops transferring then check the file itself if it becomes corrupted or not. In rare occation yes, file gets corrupted. That is why i learned and stopped using cut command. The only downside using copy though is it updates file attributes such as created date, modified date, etc.

This kind of instability can also be caused by 2 buck-converters (power supplies) in parallel. This kind of setup the behavior is very unpredictable. Under certain conditions the regulators may oscillate out of control.

But what I think they suggest is any of these mentioned here:

So something like this:

@ericwoud thank you so much foe this, I never knew that something like this exist. I would be needing somthing like this then

And i would need to make a cutout underneath the casing to open up to connect the cable to the ports

I’m not so sure about the picture you pasted, better show the link and we can see which hardware.

That board “PCIe to 4 PCIe-x1” has the ports named PCIex1.? So this would mean that they are NOT usb ports, but pcie ports. They just use usb connectors as they are mass produced and thus cheaper.

The picture I shared are 6 SATA ports.

You’d also need a different case for R3 as m.2 slot is on bottom-side of the case - just a few mm of space.

Cutting open the case is gona make it impossible to mount the case to a wall or even put it on a stand.

@ericwoud i think you are correct. I read the description and it says that the product is for mining only

Usb to nvme

I have 5 of this seagate and planning to add more. Do you think there is any other way to connect all of these?

@hvandrie i have the acrylic casing which i can adjust the bottom side by adding spacers and using long screw so having nvme at the bottom is fine i think

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Have you opened one? Is there a sata connector inside? Using the SATA port should be your best option.

Using usb should also be possible. The instability you describe sounds like it is power supply related, one way or another.